From time to time, the question comes up, can a person who cannot pass a background check to purchase a firearm, legally possess the firearms he already owns? The answer lies in the federal legislation that regulates firearm purchases and possession, chiefly 18 U.S. Code § 922, part of the Gun Control Act of 1968. (Yes, it’s almost 50 years old).
In Our Judgment
Providing insight on laws that regulate the manufacture, trade, possession, transfer, record keeping, and transport of firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories.
New legislation affects local governments wanting to prohibit handgun permit holders from possessing handguns on property owned or controlled by local governments. Public Chapter 0467 is the result of House Bill 508 and Senate Bill 445. Note that it does not apply to property owned by the state.
In Tennessee, like most states, estates frequently include the decedent’s firearms. There are legal concerns for the executor1 concerning distributing the firearms to beneficiaries or heirs of an estate. These can involve a beneficiary who is disqualified from possessing a firearm, or too young to take possession. There may even be concerns about the legality of the firearm itself, see What Do You Do with Grandpa's Machine Gun.
The federal National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates such items as machine guns, short-barrel rifles and shotguns and suppressors. New regulations, effective July 13, 2016 affect so-called gun trusts and possession of items by the executor of the estate of the owner.
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an opinion applying the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to stun guns. The case is Caetano v. Massachusetts. It involved a woman who was carrying a stun gun as protection against a former boyfriend. On one occasion, she had to display and threaten to use the stun gun to force him to leave her alone. Police discovered she had the stun gun, which was prohibited by Massachusetts law. Ms. Caetano was convicted of the heinous crime and the conviction was upheld by that state’s courts, which said stun guns were not the type of weapon protected by the Second Amendment.